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Archive for May 2012

Get Where You're Going with Power Steering Service in Folsom

Posted May 29, 2012 12:00 PM



Today we're going to talk about power steering service in Folsom. If you took an informal poll around Folsom you'd probably find that most vehicle owners have never heard of power steering service. That's not surprising. Even though power steering is standard on every vehicle, most people in Folsom aren't aware that it needs periodic service.

If you're younger than a certain age, you've probably never driven a vehicle without power steering. To get an idea of the difference; if you've ever cut a board with a hand saw, you know it's a lot of work. Using a power saw is easy-peasy by comparison.

Without power steering, your arms have to do all the work to steer the wheels, and that's hard, especially around downtown Folsom. That's why old cars had such big steering wheels: to get enough leverage to steer.

Most vehicles in Folsom have a hydraulic power steering system. The serpentine belt from the engine powers a pump. The pump pressurizes the power steering fluid. This actuates a hydraulic cylinder that provides power to help steer.

Some vehicles in Folsom use an electric pump to pressurize the fluid rather than a belt driven pump. We're also seeing vehicles with electric motors providing the power assist, not using power steering fluid at all. We'll see a lot more electric systems as more hybrids and electric vehicles hit the market.

At least for now, the vast majority of power steering systems use power steering fluid that needs to be serviced. The fluid needs to be changed for a couple of reasons. For one, it attracts moisture. Water has different hydraulic qualities than power steering fluid, and that makes a difference in steering performance. Water is also corrosive and can damage power steering components. The fluid also just gets dirty and needs to be changed. Removing the old fluid and flushing out the system gets rid of dirt and deposits. The clean, fresh fluid lubricates and provides better corrosion protection.

So ask your Folsom service advisor at Folsom Autotech or check your owner's manual to see when power steering service is recommended. It'll extend the life of your power steering components.

Folsom Autotech
1126 A Sibley St
Folsom, California 95630
(916) 985-0274



What Folsom Automotive Service Consumers Should Know

Posted May 22, 2012 12:00 PM

 

There are some things drivers should know about Folsom car service and repair. First and foremost, Folsom Autotech cares about you and your family's safety. And we really appreciate your business. Folsom Autotech in Folsom wants to build a trusting relationship that becomes the foundation for a mutually beneficial experience for years to come.

Building on that foundation, there are some things that would help you understand the auto service and repair business better. First, it can be really hard to fix vehicles. The days of shade tree mechanics are long gone. The majority of automotive systems are computerized. It takes a lot of training and very expensive equipment to diagnose and repair modern vehicles. The pros who work for Folsom Autotech need extensive computer training – not just how to run the diagnostic systems, but also searching for the right parts, networking with other technicians to help them with a difficult problem and pulling together a job order that makes sure that each step of the process is addressed.

The threshold for getting started as a technician gets higher all the time in California, and there is a huge commitment to on-going training every year. This training takes time and money. It contributes to business overhead. Average consumers in Folsom may not realize the business and environmental regulations Folsom Autotech must comply with. Of course that costs money, too. Like any California business, overhead is a big factor.

When you go into your favorite Folsom area restaurant, you don't value the meal by what the food would cost at the grocery store. The restaurant has rent, wages, insurance, taxes, utilities, professional fees, equipment, supplies – you get the picture. The restaurant has to charge enough to not only pay for the ingredients, but for all these other things as well while making enough profit to remain in business. If you value the meal and are satisfied with your dining experience, you'll come back and tell your friends.

It's the same for Folsom Autotech. The value of its service is not the cost of the parts they replace, but in your satisfaction with the results. If they deliver a good product at a fair price, customers are happy to see them succeed as a California automotive business.

Contact Folsom Autotech to learn more about our extensive auto service training.
You can find us at:
Folsom Autotech
1126 A Sibley St
Folsom, California 95630
(916) 985-0274

At Folsom Autotech, we love to see our Folsom customers whenever they come in, but we would much rather see them three or four times a year for routine maintenance than once a year on a tow truck. We want to work together with you to avoid breakdowns. Tell your friends and family to come in for their scheduled maintenance too. That lowers our marketing costs and helps keep labor rates down. That's good for everyone in Folsom.

 



Folsom Autotech Tire Safety: Washington vs. Lincoln

Posted May 15, 2012 12:00 PM

 

Welcome to the Folsom Autotech automotive blog. Today, let's talk about the effect of tire wear.

Let's focus on stopping in wet Folsom conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can't move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.

That's called hydroplaning. If it's really bad, Folsom drivers can actually spin out of control - endangering themselves and the other drivers around them. At best, you won't stop as fast.

So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your vehicle tire and you'll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They're designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.

And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new Folsom Autotech tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your vehicle on wet Folsom roads.

So that's why it's so important for Folsom drivers to replace their vehicle tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.

At Folsom Autotech, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Folsom streets. A safe stop from California speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.

There's an easy way to tell when a tire's worn to 4/32 of an inch.

Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn't cover George Washington's hairline, it's time to replace your vehicle tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.

Many Folsom residents have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln's head - the old method. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, vehicle tires are a major purchase. Most of us in Folsom want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there's a real safety trade-off. It's your choice.

Folsom Autotech
1126 A Sibley St
Folsom, California 95630
(916) 985-0274



Handling Distractions While Driving Around Sacramento

Posted May 8, 2012 12:00 PM



We've all seen people do crazy things while driving to or from Sacramento. A guy shaving in the rear-view mirror, a woman applying makeup, people talking on their phones, texting or drinking from an enormous coffee mug. All of these are an accident waiting to happen.

The truth is everyone in Sacramento California is distracted when we drive. Traffic, road construction and other things outside the car are beyond our control. But the distractions inside our car are things we can often control.

Here's some things that'll give you more control in your car, and help keep your attention on the roads around Sacramento California.

  • Drivers who are 16 to 20 years old tend to be more distracted by the radio, CD or MP3 player.
  • Drivers who are 20 to 29 are more distracted by passengers in the car, including small children.
  • And those over age 65 tend to be more distracted by objects or events that are outside of the vehicle.

Other factors like fatigue, stress and lack of sleep make it harder to pay attention to driving – no matter what age we are. People are also distracted by thinking about relationships, family issues, money and bills. So what can we do to manage these distractions? Well, the first thing is to eliminate as many as we can.

When you get in your car, make sure you're belted in; that the seats, steering wheel and mirrors are adjusted; and your radio or CD player is ready.

Secure any loose objects in the car that can fall on the floor and interfere with your driving.

If you have a drink, make sure it's spill-proof and put in a cup holder. Pets should also be contained.

If you're riding with kids, make sure they're wearing seat belts or secured in safety seats. You may want to give em some distractions to keep them quiet and sitting in their seats. Don't get involved in their arguments while you're driving. Pull over if you need to find a toy or break up a fight.

If you eat while driving, keep it to simple finger foods that aren't messy.

Learning your car's controls before you drive is another way to improve your safety. Know how to work the radio by touch. The same goes for heating and air conditioning controls.

If you have to use a cell phone, a hands-free system is best. But remember, the biggest cell phone distraction isn't the phone itself – it's the conversation. Keep conversations brief and light, or pull over if you can. Your reaction time is much slower when talking and driving, so allow more space between you and the car ahead of you. Know your local laws – it may be illegal to be on the phone or text in the Sacramento California area.

And if you really think you have to shave, change your clothes or put on make-up while driving – you're wrong. Just start getting ready earlier so you have enough time to finish those things before you drive into Sacramento California.

Folsom AutoTech
1126 A Sibley St
Folsom, California 95630
(916) 985-0274

Remember, driving is probably the most dangerous thing you'll do all day – so don't make it any worse. Use these tips to keep you and your loved ones safer behind the wheel.



Nitrogen Fill For Tires in Folsom California

Posted May 1, 2012 12:00 PM



So, everyone in the Folsom California area knows how great helium is – you know, party balloons, squeaky voices. But a lot of people around Folsom still haven't heard about the benefits of nitrogen in your tires, and how it can help your tires. Here's some great advice from AutoNetTV, brought to you by Folsom AutoTech.

Nitrogen has actually been around for a long time in the Folsom California commercial sector, but it's just starting to catch on for private vehicles in the 95630 zip code area.

Why nitrogen in your tires? Air is air, right? Actually, it turns out there is a difference.

Contact Folsom AutoTech to learn more about nitrogen in your tires
You can find us at:
1126 A Sibley St
Folsom, California 95630
Or call us at (916) 985-0274

The heart of the matter is maintaining proper tire inflation. When your tires are properly inflated, they last longer, handle better and more safely, and save you money at the gas pump.

The problem is that tires filled in Folsom with regular air can lose a pound and a half of air pressure every month. This just happens as the oxygen in the tire seeps out. So if you don't check your pressure for a month or two, well, you can be significantly low – low enough to actually affect your handling, shorten tire life and waste money at the fuel pump.

How does nitrogen help? Regular air contains about 78% nitrogen. Nitrogen is the largest molecule in air. It's dry and non-flammable. Air also contains 21% oxygen, which is smaller and seeps out of the tire three to four times faster than nitrogen.

So, a tire filled with nitrogen at Folsom AutoTech will take about six months to lose as much pressure as regular air does in just one month. So it's more forgiving for those who don't check their pressure every week.

Also, when oxygen is at higher temperatures – like those inside your tire when you've been driving for awhile – it oxidizes the inside of your tire. Getting the oxygen out of your tire means that it'll last longer.

Who's using nitrogen? Well, let's start with NASCAR and Indy. These racers like nitrogen's ability to maintain consistent tire pressure and reduce tire temperatures under very demanding conditions. The US government requires all commercial aircraft to have nitrogen in their tires. NASA and the US Military use nitrogen. The mining industry has been filling those "humongous" tires with nitrogen for years. And semi trucks and trailers are starting to use nitrogen extensively.

You may have heard some detractors of nitrogen. But the studies and white papers from tire and vehicle manufacturers demonstrate that the technology really works.

In fact, a prominent consumer research group did a study where they filled some tires with air and some with nitrogen and stacked them outside for a year. They observed that the nitrogen filled tires did hold their pressure better, but they couldn't see the economic benefit. But that particular test has very little to do with the real world. Most tires are actually holding up cars and they also get driven around and do a lot of work. So if nitrogen helps them last longer, saves gas and gives safer handling, it's worth considering.

Learn more about nitrogen in your tires by watching our attached auto tips video from AutoNetTV.



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What our clients are saying about us

We have established longterm and stable partnerships with various clients thanks to our excellence in solving their automotive needs!

These mechanics fix your vehicle and stand behind their work. They bent over backwards to accommodate me and my schedule. They are located on an easily accessible corner with plenty of parking. The manager, Ron, and owner, Jim, were professional and courteous at all times with such great smiles and information as well as many years of experience and knowledge. A real find and I will continue to use them for my mechanical needs. quotes-image
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Folsom Autotech has been my go-to garage for over 15 years. I asked the guys I work with where they'd send their wife or daughter for car repairs and the resounding recommendations was Folsom Autotech. They were right, this is MY garage and I don't want or trust anyone else to work on our cars!quotes-image
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